Two officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Colorado man who called 911 for help after his SUV got stuck this summer have been indicted by a county grand jury and fired from their jobs, authorities said.
A grand jury on Wednesday returned an indictment against Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Buen and Kyle Gould, Fifth Judicial District Attorney Heidi McCollum’s office said in a news release.
Buen has been charged with second-degree murder, official misconduct and reckless endangerment, while Gould is charged with criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment in the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Christian Glass of Boulder, he said.
Bail was set at $50,000 for Buen and $2,500 for Gould. No lawyer seemed to be on the list for either of them. NBC News reached out to a LinkedIn account that appeared to belong to Gould for comment but did not immediately receive a response. Buen’s contact details could not be found.
The indictment comes nearly six months after Glass was fatally shot by a Clear Creek County deputy sheriff on June 11 in Silver Plume, according to attorneys for his family and the sheriff’s office.
Glass appeared to be holding a knife when he was shot five times after refusing to get out of his Honda Pilot for nearly 70 minutes, according to body camera footage and an autopsy report provided by his family’s attorney.
The 22-year-old had told a 911 dispatcher that he had two knives, a hammer and a rubber mallet when asked if he had any weapons, according to call records. Lawyers for his family said he was an amateur geologist and used knives, a hammer and a mallet as a hobby.
The Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said that following Wednesday’s indictment, it had fired both Buen and Gould.
“The sheriff reaffirms his commitment to making the necessary changes to try to prevent a terrible situation like this from happening in the future, increase the public’s confidence in the CCSO, and continue to look for every opportunity to improve,” he said in a statement.
In a June statement, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Office said deputies had received a “motorist assistance” call around 11:20 p.m. on June 10.
They arrived and found a single vehicle, which appeared to have been involved in an accident, he said. Glass “immediately became argumentative and uncooperative with officers and armed himself with a knife,” the statement said.
“Additional law enforcement officers arrived and for over an hour they tried to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution,” he said.
Officers were able to break the vehicle’s windows and remove the knife, but “the suspect recovered with a rock and a second knife,” the statement said. “Agents deployed less-lethal bean bags and Tasers with negative results. The suspect ultimately tried to stab an officer and was shot.”
The autopsy determined that he had died of gunshot wounds. It also showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.01% and THC in his system, as well as amphetamines, which the Denver-based Rathod/Mohamedbhai law firm representing his family previously said was likely a prescription. to treat ADHD.
Rathod said Glass was most likely having a mental breakdown when she made the initial 911 call.
Video previously provided by lawyers for the Glass family appears to show an officer ordering Glass out of the car.
“Sir, I’m terrified,” Glass replies. The officers tell him that he doesn’t need to be terrified and that they are there to help.
More officers later arrive and after about 67 minutes, Glass makes what appears to be a heart-shaped gesture with his hands towards the officers. A female voice is heard saying: “I’ll say the same to you, but come out and talk to us.” Glass appears to blow kisses towards the officers.
Shortly after, an officer announces that the police will enter Glass’s SUV. The SUV’s front passenger-side window is broken, and officers can be heard ordering Glass to drop the knife. They shoot him with bean bags as the officers yell at him to drop the knife.
Glass is then shot with a taser and begins screaming hysterically.
Later, knife in hand, Glass appears to turn on an officer shortly before he is shot. He then appears to stab himself before dropping the knife. Rathod previously said that Glass’s knife wounds were superficial.
Agents had asked Glass to leave the vehicle at least three dozen times during the encounter, body camera video showed. They also discussed whether Glass might have used drugs, suffered an injury during the collision, or whether he was experiencing mental health issues.
Lawyers for Glass’s family said in a statement Wednesday that while his loved ones are “relieved, appropriate charges have been filed against some of those responsible” for their son’s death, “nothing will bring Christian back to his family”.
“Christian’s death is a stain on every officer who was present and was unable to prevent the escalation and unnecessary use of force,” they said.
Both Buen and Gould are expected to appear in court in mid-December, McCollum’s office said.